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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been listening to my sound system, and find it underwhelming. I have considered the Kicker VSS, or just changing more things (New speakers, amp, subwoofer, etc)

What have you all done to make this Sound better?
 

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I have been listening to my sound system, and find it underwhelming. I have considered the Kicker VSS, or just changing more things (New speakers, amp, subwoofer, etc)

What have you all done to make this Sound better?
I did the VSS. I like it.


But do a search as this turd has been kicked so very often with a wide range of opinions.
 

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I have been listening to my sound system, and find it underwhelming. I have considered the Kicker VSS, or just changing more things (New speakers, amp, subwoofer, etc)

What have you all done to make this Sound better?
I can't resist jumping in to share that I was also underwhelmed Bose "premium" system. I haven't listened with high quality source material yet, but with fm and xsm, the highs are not detailed and clear. The JBL system in my wife's Highlander sounds much better on the same stations. However, the Bose system is good enough for news, talk and classic rock tunes I've heard a thousand times.

Probably the best thing I can do to get better sound is to NOT spend another cent on the truck system and direct the savings to my desktop system where I actually do critical listening to music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've read some of the articles on changing the center and front dash speakers, but would rather see a video. I am about average (above average) mechanically inclined, I just don't like to do things without being properly prepared.
 

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Bose "premium" sound upgrade, anyone?

I own some pretty decent audio gear around the house and have had tons of car audio projects.

As far as an OEM premium audio system goes. I find the BOSE to be pretty damn good. I like the fact that they did not make this system BRIGHT and in your face. The mids are great and the low is ok. I find myself adjusting the tone depending on the songs I’m listening too every once in a while.

One of the worst things for me is having that tinny bright ear fatiguing Audio in your car.

I own a BMW 1M w HK sound and it’s horrible and bright no matter how I tune it in advanced settings.

Now the wife’s Volvo V90 Cross Country has B&W system and it’s killer.

Again, not much systems I’ve enjoyed in any car. I go into my car looking forward to listening to music. Heard quite a few kicker setups at SEMA booth and they were way to “boomy” with bad mids and highs.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Not being a guy on the know about car/truck audio systems it was a low priority in my truck search. My Z71 came with the upgraded, very expensive at $500, Bose. After listening to it for 7 months now it is definitely something I would purchase if buying another Colorado. I think it sounds great!

Gusto
 

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I own some pretty decent audio gear around the house and have had tons of car audio projects.

As far as an OEM premium audio system goes. I find the BOSE to be pretty damn good. I like the fact that they did not make this system BRIGHT and in your face. The mids are great and the low is ok. I find myself adjusting the tone depending on the songs I’m listening too every once in a while.

One of the worst things for me is having that tinny bright ear fatiguing Audio in your car.

I own a BMW 1M w HK sound and it’s horrible and bright no matter how I tune it in advanced settings.

Now the wife’s Volvo V90 Cross Country has B&W system and it’s killer.

Again, not much systems I’ve enjoyed in any car. I go into my car looking forward to listening to music. Heard quite a few kicker setups at SEMA booth and they were way to “boomy” with bad mids and highs.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Agree 100%, with my audio brother from a different mother here :smile: The Bose is good enough that the source material matters greatly. Listening to FM or XM is not a fair shake - garbage in = garbage out. Run some good lightly or uncompressed music through it off your phone.

While it is no competition system with thundering bass and silly windshield popping SPL abilities, the Bose is a decent if not "last word" system for grownups that can reach full enough volumes that make it hard to hear someone trying to talk to you from the passenger seat, while not making one's ears bleed in the process. I find all it needs are small adjustments from flat to the tone controls to sound it's best. The amp seems to have appropriate power and the drivers, while they may be cost conscious, are fed a signal that obviously has some good DSP time invested. That is one of the difficulties though I suppose. Put in better drivers and the DSP will be off, as it is optimized for the stock speakers. I can live with it just fine, as is, glad I sprung for the Bose.

If I have to criticize, some better high range speakers would give a more 3 dimensional sound stage. That does not mean ear bleeding tweeters, just more detail and nuance would be nice. For $500, there is only so much one is going to get, especially from an OEM system. The Bose is a huge upgrade from the lower level sound system though, and worth it IMO.

On a separate audio note, I got these cheap Otium Bluetooth earbud headphones for the gym with lowish expectations despite their many positive reviews, and am floored how good they sound. With the good source material off my phone, they are crisp and clean sounding and actually get loud enough to cause hearing damage if one is stupid with the volume, which makes them awesome. Bonus, they have a mic and work quite will for taking calls. Really glad my old ones took a dump, liking these much better :laugh:

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Headphones-Otium-Waterproof-Sweatproof-Cancelling/dp/B018APC4LE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511454148&sr=8-1&keywords=otium+headphones[/ame]
 
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Agree 100%, with my audio brother from a different mother here :smile: The Bose is good enough that the source material matters greatly. Listening to FM or XM is not a fair shake - garbage in = garbage out. Run some good lightly or uncompressed music through it off your phone.

While it is no competition system with thundering bass and silly windshield popping SPL abilities, the Bose is a decent if not "last word" system for grownups that can reach full enough volumes that make it hard to hear someone trying to talk to you from the passenger seat, while not making one's ears bleed in the process. I find all it needs are small adjustments from flat to the tone controls to sound it's best. The amp seems to have appropriate power and the drivers, while they may be cost conscious, are fed a signal that obviously has some good DSP time invested. That is one of the difficulties though I suppose. Put in better drivers and the DSP will be off, as it is optimized for the stock speakers. I can live with it just fine, as is, glad I sprung for the Bose.

If I have to criticize, some better high range speakers would give a more 3 dimensional sound stage. That does not mean ear bleeding tweeters, just more detail and nuance would be nice. For $500, there is only so much one is going to get, especially from an OEM system. The Bose is a huge upgrade from the lower level sound system though, and worth it IMO.

On a separate audio note, I got these cheap Otium Bluetooth earbud headphones for the gym with lowish expectations despite their many positive reviews, and am floored how good they sound. With the good source material off my phone, they are crisp and clean sounding and actually get loud enough to cause hearing damage if one is stupid with the volume, which makes them awesome. Bonus, they have a mic and work quite will for taking calls. Really glad my old ones took a dump, liking these much better :laugh:

https://www.amazon.com/Headphones-O...d=1511454148&sr=8-1&keywords=otium+headphones

Now, this guy knows what he's talking about and I agree 100%. I didn't want to get to deep into the topic because it's more of a car forum... Regarding the source material this is 100% true. Even my SPOTIFY setup on extreme can be hit or miss depending on the recording, not that spotify is the greatest for high quality music, but its easy. My Reference track for all my audio equipment is Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing and I can say the Bose definitely impressed me with its performance.
 

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I used to be a professional car audio installer in the late 90’s. Did a bunch of SQ installs and owned a few. I can say that though the Bose system doesn’t get very loud it is a very tonally accurate system. It would sound better with better speakers but that’s what you get when you use cheap drivers and then use digital signal processing to make up for it. I really enjoy having an accurate system from the factory. I would be willing to bet that it has a pretty good RTA curve to it.
 

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I give the Bose in my truck a solid B-. It decent but has lots of room for improvement. My parents 2011 Acura has much better sound. To each their own. It only matters that you are happy. I'm happy enough that I'll complain about it but most likely never change a thing. lol
 

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I'm with the "source material" crowd. I think it's a nice system. It's not my Vienna Acoustics system at home, but it doesn't need to be. I was surprised at a little bass distortion at one point, but I'm not all about that bass. ;)
 

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I'm with the "source material" crowd. I think it's a nice system. It's not my Vienna Acoustics system at home, but it doesn't need to be. I was surprised at a little bass distortion at one point, but I'm not all about that bass. ;)
My truck has the Bose and I am very pleased with it. I generally listen to XM and have it set to Classic Rock. I get the "Pleasure" of traveling via plane a fair amount and my kids bought me a set of Bose Quiet Comfort over the ear headphones. They are absolutely fantastic when connected to the iPod, whether it is the noise of the plane the yacker sitting behind you or kids that won't stop screaming, I am able to kick back and enjoy my music without hearing all the distractions - it is bad enough being on a plane for 4+ hours, I can at least get some peace.

The material is still classic rock, yes I mean real classic rock: Boston, Foreigner, Styx. There is one particular song that I use to check every system and even though it is approaching its 40 birthday, the Eagles Hotel California has to be right or it is bad. Once you have a good quality copy that you can use to check out a system, you will notice the quality systems and not so good systems. I have the song sourced from multiple media points and with the age of the recording the XM is very comparable to a digitized CD - yet my own digital recording from the album using a Kenwood turntable and equalizer connected directly to my computer inputs is my favorite, which is what I have on my iPod. I know the iPod compresses the music and it is not as good as a Wav, but lets be honest, a redigitized song that has been duplicated hundreds of times will never be like the concert in 1979 when it was played live - yes, I'm getting old and yes I was at one of their concerts in 1979.

When I listen to something recent, I can tell the difference in the source materials and the difference between my wife's Malibu with the standard system and the truck with Bose is night and day. My home systems are a mix of Harmon/JBL and Kenwood and they have a very good sound - the Kenwood is very old and plays albums, cassettes and CD's from 100 CD changer to perfection.

The bottom line, pick a song and test the exact same song from same device on multiple systems, you may be amazed at the difference - in a vehicle don't forget to try it with the windows up, down and cracked.
 

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I was also underwhelmed by the stock Bose system so I changed the front dash speakers to Infinity 3.5" and noticed a considerable improvement. (center channel is still connected) This is a very easy install and low cost improvement. I have kept it that way for several months and now will be changing the rear speakers to the JBL GX602 coaxial speakers (2.3 ohms) in a few weeks. I expect another nice improvement for about $50. Next would be the Kicker hideaway sub under the rear seat in the tool compartment.
 

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Bar none the worst stereo I've ever had. Not being dramatic here, but the boomy crap that comes from the doors can't be turned down, can't be faded away, and drives me crazy. Until I stuff a Kicker sub in the back and DSP to some new speakers in the door, I now just listen to the rattle of the diesel for my stereo. The Bose upgrade is a $1000 waste of cash IMO.
 

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I used to be a professional car audio installer in the late 90’s. Did a bunch of SQ installs and owned a few. I can say that though the Bose system doesn’t get very loud it is a very tonally accurate system. It would sound better with better speakers but that’s what you get when you use cheap drivers and then use digital signal processing to make up for it. I really enjoy having an accurate system from the factory. I would be willing to bet that it has a pretty good RTA curve to it.
Well there is no way it is worse than the non Bose system. I'm pretty sure the RTA curve in my truck looks like an unside down U or a speed bump at best. Well used to, did some changes with coils, caps and added two tweeters and its much better now...
 

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I was also underwhelmed by the stock Bose system so I changed the front dash speakers to Infinity 3.5" and noticed a considerable improvement. (center channel is still connected) This is a very easy install and low cost improvement. I have kept it that way for several months and now will be changing the rear speakers to the JBL GX602 coaxial speakers (2.3 ohms) in a few weeks. I expect another nice improvement for about $50. Next would be the Kicker hideaway sub under the rear seat in the tool compartment.
Which 3.5" Infinity did you end up going with, and did you have to trim much plastic? Need to start picking away at improving mine as well. Thx! Let me know how the rear swap plays out and how you like that change.
 

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I've never been a fan of Bose. If their sound reproduction was as good as their marketing a lot of folks would probably be satisfied. Anyhow, I've been doing a lot of forum reading and was ready to change the dash corner drivers. Then I tried one final tone tweak and shut down feed to the rears. It really seemed to clear up the music. Sure, the bass is still a muddy mess but that won't be an easy fix. I may be the only guy who hadn't tried directing the output to only the fronts, but if anyone else hasn't tried it yet it only takes a few seconds.
 

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I have the Bose Sound System Factory with my 2017 Z71.
No plans to make any changes.

I have similar in my 2007 HHR, Subwoofer in the Rear...
I am just changing out the speakers now after 10 Years.
I didn't expect to keep the vehicle for so long, but have been very happy with it.

Keith,
Marietta, GA
 
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